The Hassle – Finding Happiness and Joy as a Mom
You want your life to be full of joy and happiness. In your heart, you know how to live a happy life. You work hard each day, surround yourself with happy people, and are kind to others, so why don’t you feel happy? Sometimes you feel like you’re in a rut and just aren’t happy.
My name is Fran and I started this blog to help you find joy and happiness in your life. And as a mom, you strive each day to raise your kids to find joy and happiness in their lives. This site is full of ideas, solutions and support to help you deal with the problems, struggles and difficulties you will face in your daily mom life.
Today let’s talk about happiness. In order to teach your kids how to find happiness in their lives, you need to make sure you are doing everything you can to have and model a happy life.
So, right now you’re in a rut. At the end of the day you find yourself remembering all of the things that went wrong. Maybe your list looks something like this
- I didn’t get the laundry done
- The kids wouldn’t listen to me
- I was late starting dinner, so the kids ate cereal . . again.
- the list can get pretty long if you dwell on everything that went wrong
Then maybe the thought comes, I would be happier if:
- My husband actually came home from work on time
- My kids had better behavior and would listen to me
- I had a house cleaning service
- I had meal kits delivered to my house – they look so simple and easy
Don’t let yourself get into the trap of equating an easy life with a happy life. That’s not real life. There’s no easy button and even if there were, an easy life does not equal a happy life.
Happiness isn’t something that just happens. Yes, the universe has a never ending supply of happiness, but you need to find your happiness. So, where do we find it?
The Solution – Develop Good Relationships
For the past 80 years, researchers in the Harvard Medical School’s Grant Study have been working to identify how to live a happy life and which factors influence happiness as we age.
“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”
Ok, so lasting happiness isn’t guaranteed when you:
- Have the laundry done
- The kids are listening and obeying
- Your family sits down to a delicious meal
Happiness come when you:
- Focus on creating meaningful relationships with those you love
- Reflect on those meaningful relationships and recognize happiness in your life
Now don’t get me wrong, if I had a day with the laundry done, obedient kids and a delicious meal ready for dinner I would probably feel pretty happy. But that happiness would be temporary. You want the kind of joy and happiness that stays with you even when the house isn’t as clean as you want.
Let’s look at other relationships that are important to your happiness.
Social connections lead to a happier life and “loneliness kills ”
Participants in the study reported they were happier, physically healthier and even lived longer lives when they had relationships with family, friends, and community members.
Participants who were isolated with fewer relationships reported they were less happy, their health and even their brain function declined earlier in life and it was reported that they lived shorter lives.
(picture of someone who is lonely)
A staggering thought, “At any given time more than 1 in 5 Americans will report they are lonely.” Have you ever felt lonely in a crowd? It’s pretty safe to say all of us have felt lonely at one time or another. It makes a lot of sense that it’s not enough to have a lot of Facebook friends or Instagram followers. You need friends in real life.
“It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”
Close relationships usually don’t happen overnight. There are those occasional “best friends at first site” type of friends, but most of the time relationships develop over time. These are the type of friends that you share everything with. These are the type of friendships that even if you haven’t seen each other in years, you just pick back up where you left off.
In the study, participants who were most satisfied in their relationships in their 50s were the healthiest at age 80. This is great news! If you don’t currently have those close relationships, you have time to grow and develop them!
As our bodies age, we will all experience aches and pains. Having quality relationships does not stop those aches and pains from happening, but it did help participants with their mood. Those with quality relationships reported their mood as the same even when they experiences aches and pains of an aging body.
Those with less meaningful relationships said that their mood got worst when they experienced pain and for some that mood change even made the pain worst.
An extra benefit – “Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains”
Having good relationships means you have people to count on when things get difficult. The study showed the brain stays sharper longer when you know you can really count on the other person in your relationship.
Being able to really count on another person doesn’t mean there won’t be arguments. It means when it really matters, you know they are standing by your side. Those arguments do not diminish your happiness or your health.
The How – The First Step in Creating a Happier Life
It doesn’t take a Harvard study to teach loneliness bring sadness. And you know you are happiest when your life has meaningful relationships. Life’s daily setbacks and disappointments are just background noise if you can look back on your day and remember the good times you had with those you love.
When you’re old, you want to look back to a life full of wonderful memories. Thankfully we can all learn how to live a happy life. And we do that by building strong, supportive relationships. As you build strong relationships you will experience a lifetime of happiness.
The first step you must take today for a happier life is to strengthen your relationship with your husband. A great way to do this is by writing him a love letter. Write about why you decided to marry him, what makes him a great father and why you choose to love him every single day.
Don’t come up with any excuses why you shouldn’t write the letter. If your husband’s love language is words of affirmation – give him the letter and then tell him why you love him. The same will apply if he prefers to receive gifts. If you feel like the letter isn’t enough of a gift, get him a meaningful gift and give him the gift and the letter.
Writing the love letter is just as much for you as it is for your husband. Taking the time to think about your relationship and how much you love your husband will bring back wonderful memories. Let those memories sink in and bring you joy.
Final Thoughts on How to Live a Happy Life
Relationships are not always easy. They are complicated and take a lifetime of hard work. Hard work brings the best rewards. A lifetime of happiness is one of the best rewards you can experience when you have strong and fulfilling relationships.
There is a never ending supply of happiness and love. When you add a child to your family, the love isn’t redistributed. The love grows. You don’t love your first child less when the second child is born. Love and happiness are limitless.
You need to find ways to find, grow and strength relationships in your own life. Find ways to tap into that limitless resource of love and happiness. It’s up to you to find joy and happiness for yourself.
Remember, I’ve already given you the first step. Go write that love letter to your husband! And let me know how it went. Was it super easy or really difficult? What was your husband’s reaction? Leave a comment below or email me at activehappykid(dot)com
If you are looking for more ideas, solutions and support to help you deal with the problems, struggles and difficulties you will face in your daily mom life check out my post – Top Mom Tips for Raising Active Happy Kids.
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